A continuation of the discussion of Equal Pay for Unequal Work

What is going to keep you getting out of bed at 6:30 AM other than the idea of bettering yourself and your family?

Depending on the job: the feeling of satisfaction of doing something important, the joy of doing something you've been brainwashed to love, bettering yourself & family by bettering society at the same time.

One could imagine societies developing a social stigma against lazy workers, but it's even easier to imagine organizations without.

There isn't a stigma against not going on a rollercoaster. Well actually, you might get some ribbing from your peers that you're chicken. In any case, how do marketers get you to ride a rollercoaster? It's just one activity among millions of others - why is this one so desirable that you'd actually want to pay to do it, instead of having to be paid to do it? The marketer is basically emphasizing how much fun the activity itself will be - not what result or reward you'd get afterwards.

There is a danger in promoting the process too much though. Let's say you've basically been brainwashed to enjoy churning butter the traditional way. What if a new method comes along that is more efficient? Well, then those who are in charge of "marketing" in the butter industry will have to switch to promoting this new method instead, and leave the old method for you to do in your "leisure" (less important) time.

Most of us ride a rollercoaster once in a while, but (most of us) would be bored if we did it all the time.

Yet people do things like read / argue on everything2 day in and day out, or play a MMORPG day in and day out. You could argue that these activities are different in that they involve something different every day. Yet jobs could be tailored in the same way. Just apply the same product / marketing principles to the job itself. If you write software, you may be satisfied solving the same problems every day, simply because it makes you feel good to be the expert in your area. However, if that bores you, then you could branch out into other areas, or help out a peer who is swamped. If you work on an assembly line, you could easily move around to other parts of the assembly line if the learning curve isn’t steep. You could even spend days outside of your “normal” job – maybe planting trees in a park or whatever the job advertisers are promoting that week.

There was a movie director that stated all great films are about either death or sex. Another director replied that he had to add money to his list. The first director responded that money is only used to avoid the first and get the second. I would add another thing to the use of money: to get pride – whether it’s to buy status symbols, or simply to hold and be able to say you have a large amount of it. The thing with death and sex is that they are fairly absolute – death is death and sex is sex in every culture. Pride on the other hand is much more malleable. Different cultures (and subcultures) are proud of different things. Humans can take an active role in changing culture in any direction (which is basically what advertising and marketing is).

In today’s system, you convince people to work by offering them money. You convince them to want money by advertising goods they can buy. Without product advertising, would people still want those goods (or money) as much? What then is the purpose of it all? To create a “desire” that wouldn’t have existed otherwise, so you can fill that desire – it seems to me to just be a system of creating unnecessary work. Now before you make the argument that advertising isn’t all that effective in getting people to buy what they don’t want, consider this: why spend so much effort on advertising? It supports all of network television – million dollar salaries for the cast of Friends. Companies wouldn’t spend so much if it didn’t work. If advertising is just informative, then why spend all that money on slick ads? Why not just a simple, boring blurb about your product? The answer, of course, is that “boring” doesn’t sell.

So let’s turn this around. Instead of trying to convince people to want things they don’t want, instead convince them to want to do things that actually need doing. Seems like a much more direct method to me and a much better use of the skills of our great advertisers.


9th of August, 1945.

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